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I would say that a spiritual person would be an individual who lives and acts with an awareness that there is more to human existence than can be found in the visible, material world, and who seeks to increase knowledge of, and to live in harmony with, that awareness, irrespective of what form that seeking would take (that is, it would not be confined to any one human religion). A righteous person would be one who has attained that state of harmony. From a Christian standpoint, it would be those who realize that they cannot achieve this state of harmony through their own efforts, and who are thus totally dependent on God to impart it to them through faith in Christ as the only possible means by which it can be done.
Righteous = justifiable, morally right Spiritual = referring to the human spirit, not to physical things Motivation can come from either of these positions. John 1:17, For the Law was given by Moses, but Grace & TRUTH came by Jesus Christ. Genesis 2:17, "But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat." (The Lord commanded vs. 16) Genesis 3:3, The woman said, "God hath said ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." Eve added to God's words. And...she and Adam both ate. They decided, they knew instinctively, they sinned...They HID (so they thought) from God! 3:8 Genesis 3:21, " Unto Adam and his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them" - this was the first blood sacrifice, their sin was made right by God. But sin has a cost, no longer would they walk with God in the garden. They would have to have a spiritual relationship..God is Spirit! They believed in their own decision and did not trust God. Genesis 4:4, "And Abel....brought the firstling of his flock and the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel." Why? Because he respected God. He had a relationship with Him. Genesis 5:24, And Enoch walked with God. Genesis 6:8, Noah found Grace. Genesis 6:9, Noah walked with God. Genesis 7:1, "And the Lord said to Noah, Come...thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteousness before me..." Luke 2:25, "And behold, there was a man named Simeon; and the same man was just and devout..." Genesis 15:6 -And he believed in the Lord and He counted it for righteousness...(Abram) 1Corinthians 2:9-16 reveals that God tells truths to mankind by His Spirit which indwells believers, those who trust God. They have faith in God's word, without visibly physically seeing Him. Revelation 22:19, "And if any man shalt take away from the Words...written in this book...." Remember what Eve did, she changed God's words! Justified her act... Judges 21:25, " In those days there was no king in Israel and every man did that which was right in his own eyes." That's what Adam and Eve did. 1 John 1:3, "That which we have seen and heard we declare..." we are to believe God's words and have faith in Him whom we have not seen. (physically) We spiritually walk with God in a relationship that is heartfelt. We believe and depend on Him. Consult Him, talk with Him, are comforted by Him. We praise Him, give honor and glory and thanks to Him. We trust in His love for us. Beware of becoming so righteous that we do not need God. It is good to do good things. But the motivation should come from a heart moved by a relationship with God. It's not about me, ITS ALL ABOUT HIM!
Let’s see what the New Testament has to say about righteous and spiritual people. About righteous people: in the gospels, Jesus said; • It is proper for me to be baptised to fulfil all righteousness (Matthew 3:15) • People who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled (Matthew 5:6) • People will be persecuted because of righteousness (Matthew 5:10) • Our righteousness must surpass the Pharisees or we won’t enter heaven (Matthew 5:20) • Don’t practice our righteousness in front of others (Matthew 6;1) • When we seek God’s righteousness all our other needs will be met (Matthew 6:33) • The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:43) • John the Baptist showed us the way of righteousness [repentance] (Matthew 21:32) • Pharisees appeared righteous on the outside but were full of hypocrisy and wickedness (Matthew 23:28) • Whatever the righteous did for one of the least of their brothers and sisters they did for Jesus (Matthew 25:40) • The righteous will go to eternal life (Matthew 25:46) • Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly (Luke 1:5-6) • Simeon was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel (Luke 2:25) • Pharisees were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on others (Luke 18:9) • The Centurion who saw what happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” (Luke 23:47) • The Holy Spirit will prove the world wrong about righteousness because Jesus is going to the Father (John 16:9-10) About righteous people, in the book of Romans, the apostle Paul said: • In the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last (Romans 1:17) • It is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous (Romans 2:13) • There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10) • No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law (Romans 3:20) • This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe (Romans 3:22) • God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement to demonstrate his righteousness (Romans 3:25) • Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness (Romans 4:3) • God will credit righteousness for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead (Romans 4:24) About spiritual people, in the New Testament, we discover: • I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong (Romans 1:11) • We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin (Romans 7:14) • Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord (Romans 12:11) • You do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:7) • We speak in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words (1 Corinthians 2:13) • They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink, from the spiritual rock that was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:3-4) • It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44) • God has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3) • Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (1 Peter 2:2) • You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5) In summary, a righteous person is someone who, through faith in Jesus Christ, has received the righteousness of God. A spiritual person is someone who, through faith in Jesus Christ, has been born again by the Holy Spirit, and has received the gift of eternal life.
We often have own ideas about God, spirituality, and religion, and that is why there are countless denominations (religion in general). Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27. God has very little to do with the word "religion" in terms how the world sees. Everything what is "religious," from the very beginning of the world, always has been made up by mere human beings (except religion of Jews for that was established by God Himself). For all people in their souls know God, but they suppress the knowledge about Him and do make up own religions, false worship traditions, gods, what fit better to their wishes, feelings and so on. Our Creator is with those who worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24), who seek Him and do His will. Jeremiah 24:7; 29:13. Where is the place for religion (as it is presented and understood by all the world) if and when we are in relationship with God our Father? Religious person follows the rules and regulations, often even exalting human beings, traditions and other things higher than God. But all authority is given to Jesus only and He is the Head of everything Ephesians 1:21; Matthew 28:18. Theologians, priests, pastors and all the others are just a servants the same way as you and me. And all of us are commanded "to go and proclaim the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mark 16:15. What does mean to be spiritual apart from religion? Is it not to serve God the Father in spirit after we are born of Spirit? Is it not to be with Him in close relationship and do what He says avoiding any thought what devil, this world and religions plant in our minds? God is Spirit and where the Spirit of God is there is the freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17. Freedom from many things which bend us down. Galatians 5:1; John 8:36. There is very little common between religious person and spiritual person. First one is a slave to many things; spiritual person is slave to God only. Religious person will not understand the things of God, but spiritual one is free, righteous and holy, and already seated in the heavenly places in the Christ, and are possessing all the fruits described in the Galatians 5:22-23. I pray may all of us see the Truth and become spirit filled creatures in order that we are enabled by His power, which already is at work within us, to do His will. I pray for all who think that religion with its traditions, rules etc, is accepted by God, come to the knowledge of Him and see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts so that they may be healed. I pray may all religious persons, whom God loves, see that all things done in the flesh and by the flesh, apart from Spirit, are an abomination to God. God is Spirit and where the Spirit of God is, there is the freedom. Only by coming to the Lord Jesus Christ person is able to see the Truth relevant to the God, spirituality and religion, and separate evil from good. Spirituality is not found, learned or attainable by any other means as only by accepting the way of God; accepting His Son and His work on the cross done for all the world. So, we must be born again in order not to be religious, but spirit filled creatures who do the will of God. "He has made us competent as ministers…" 2 Corinthians 3:6. "Then the LORD…" Genesis 2:7. All of us, from the moment Adam and Eve sinned, are dead spiritually and already born with the sinful nature, but we must become living beings …Romans 4:25. Questions about so called deep "religious" things will become clear through the Spirit which God will give to those who are in Christ. Choose to become Spirit filled being, and if there is any religion in you, it will disappear as the morning mist, for the Spirit will lead and guide you into all the TRUTH, and you will enjoy your freedom in Christ. John 16:13; 14:17; 14:26; 1 John 2:27.
In the lyrics of, "Lord I Need You" is the verse: "My one defense, my righteousness." The whole song is wonderful except this verse. First of all, none of us is righteous, except through the eyes of Jesus. He cuts us a lot slack. We are all sinful. Secondly this verse has defense! Aren't we supposed to submit to HIM! Dying to self? If you feel righteous and have a cause, aren't you afraid of being too legalistic, becoming a Pharisee of today? Aren't we supposed to love everyone, especially the unlovable? PS, pray for our president, especially if you would prefer not to. I pray for him only because the Holy Spirit asked me to. God Bless
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